Fan Margaret Ford Keifer (b.1921) died on July 28. Keifer’s husband, Ben, was one of the founders of MidWestCon, and Keifer is the only person to have attended all 66 MidWestCons. A founding member of the Cincinnati Fan Group, Keifer was one of the administrators of the Don Ford Fund, named after her first husband, the chairman of Cinvention, which raised money to bring Jack Speer to Ditto 14/Fanhistoricon 11.
Filker Renee Alper (b.1957) died on July 27. In 1977, Alper founded The American Hobbit Association, almost single-handedly running the organization for 12 years. She also was the dramaturge for Ovation Theatre Company’s adaptations of The Lord of the Rings over a three year period. She has twice been nominated for the Pegasus Award and has produced several filk albums, including Wheelchair in High Gear and Thoracic Park. Alper won or placed in the OVFF Songwriting Contest a dozen times.
British fan Fred Hemmings (b.1944) died on May 6. Hemmings was active in the Kingston SF Group and BSFA and also helped run several Eastercons. At Eastercon 22, Hemmings costume based on H.Beam Piper’s Space Viking won Best Costume in what may have been the first fully successful masquerade in British fandom. He attended the first Eurocon and edited the fanzine Viewpoints.
Tempe, Arizona is the only site that has submitted paperwork to run for the 70th Westercon in 2017. The bid is being headed by Gary Swatty with Kevin McAloran as Treasurer and will take place from July 1-4, 2017 at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. All members of Westercon 68 are eligible to vote.
Allen Lewis of Sioux Falls, Iowa, has announced that he his donated his collection of 17,500, worth an estimated $750,000 to the University of Iowa special collections. Although Lewis’s interest in science fiction began when he was twelve, he didn’t become an active collector until the 1990s. Iowa is also the home of the Rusty Hevelin collection.
Philadelphia and Charleston fan Sandy Swank (b.Gregory A. Swank, 1959) died on June 13. Swank served as President of the Greater Delaware Valley Costumers Guild and was also active in the SCA. In May 2015, Swank, along with his husband, Rob Himmelsbach, co-chaired CostumeCon 33 in Charleston, SC. Swank was active in living history education as well.
Seattle area fan Bruce E. Durocher II (b.1959) died on June 14. Durocher ran videos and film for the 2005 NASFIC, Cascadia Con, and was active in Seattle fandom. A film fan and reviewer, he was married to artist Margaret Organ-Kean.
German author Wolfgang Jeschke (b.1936) died on June 10. Jeschke discovered German science fiction fandom in the 1950s and in 1955 became one of the first members of Science Fiction Club Deutschland. His early stories were published in fanzines, but he eventually went on to work in publishing as an editor as well as write his own novels, including Der letzte Tag der Schöpfung and Midas oder Die Auferstehung des Fleisches. Jeschke was one of the Pro Guests of Honor at ConFiction, the 1990 Worldcon held in The Hague.
Fan Michael Wernig (b.1954) died on June 3. Wernig was a member of the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society and a frequent attendee at Bubonicon.
The administrators of the Down Under Fan Fund (DUFF) have announced that no northbound race would be held this year. Julian Warner and Justin Ackroyd took over the administrator duties from Bill Wright Juanita Coulson in April at Wright’s request. They need a period of time to replenish funds and to allow for a well-organised campaign for next year. In addition, Lucy Huntzinger has offer to take over the administration of North American funds.
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